NUS Department of Social Work launches new award to encourage social innovations that benefit ASEAN communities

The Department of Social Work at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences announced the establishment of a new award to encourage social innovations that can make a positive impact on communities in ASEAN countries.

Known as the ASEAN Social Impact Award, this initiative is a partnership with the Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund, Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) and Ashoka Innovators for the Public, NUS said in a press statement.

Photo courtesy:
Photo courtesy:

The long-term goal of this award is to build communities of social innovators who work together to transform society and design new ways for communities to be more entrepreneurial, productive and connected. The award will also convene philanthropists committed to collective action for community betterment in the ASEAN region.

To be considered for the award, candidates’ organisation would need to fulfill three key criteria: benefitted the disadvantaged community in the ASEAN region; achieved a demonstrable scale of impact; and in operation for at least three years.

Candidates and their initiatives would also be assessed based on social impact, entrepreneurial quality, innovation quality and sustainability. Three winners will be selected, and each winner will receive a cash prize of up to S$50,000 to further scale the impact of their work.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Photo courtesy: NUS
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Photo courtesy: NUS

Honouring Singapore’s Father of Charity

In its first year, the award will be in honour of the late Dr Ee Peng Liang and his charitable contributions. Dr Ee was Singapore’s Father of Charity, who selflessly uplifted communities in need and supported causes that make a lasting change.  

“The late Dr Ee Peng Liang was always ready to lend a helping hand to the needy and the disadvantaged, and he firmly believed that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. His lifelong commitment to advancing human development in communities in need is an inspiration to all of us,” said Dr S Vasoo, Associate Professorial Fellow with the Department of Social Work, NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Chairman of the Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund Committee.

“Through this new award, we want to celebrate the many good works of the men and women who embody this selfless spirit and to also inspire social innovations that provide sustainable solutions to address challenges face by communities in need and, in turn, help build an inclusive society for all in the ASEAN region,” Dr Vasoo added.